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Lottery fever warms Michiganders during a cold week

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michiganders are buying Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets this week in hopes of winning their share of roughly a billion dollars in prize money.

The multi-state lottery jackpots get all the attention.   But it’s the smaller games that make most of the money.

Spokesman Jeff Holyfield says Powerball and Mega Million sales represent only about six to seven percent of the Michigan Lottery’s revenues.

“While this is going to be nice and is going to boost our contributions to the school aid fund,” says Holyfield, “They aren’t the large percentages of our revenues.”

Michigan players spent $3.3 billion buying lottery tickets last year. The lottery generated more than $920 million for the Michigan School Aid fund in fiscal year 2017. 

Saturday’s $550 million Powerball jackpot is currently the 8th largest in U.S history.  Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is at $418 million.  Both have time to grow larger before the balls drop.

The largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was $1.6 billion, won in January, 2016.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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